The present issue of “The Light of Christ Enlightens All” Academic periodical of St Philaret’s Christian Orthodox Institute comprises articles on biblical studies, theology and liturgics.
SFI ACADEMIC PERIODICAL “THE LIGHT OF CHRIST ENLIGHTENS ALL”. ISSUE 12
Academic periodical of St Philaret's Christian Orthodox Institute. Iss. 12. 2014. 152 p.
“Quest for the Historical Jesus”: Beyond the Impasse?
For the last few centuries, the Quest for the historical Jesus has attempted to go behind the Gospels and provide a historical reconstruction of a “real Jesus”. These attempts were not successful: Instead of a single reconstruction, scholars suggested dozens of mutually exclusive scenarios. One reason for the lack of consensus is the absence of clear methodological criteria. As a result, the contemporary Quest found itself in a deep crisis. Some scholars moved into total scepticism. At the same time, we witness a Renaissance of efforts in establishing the historical reliability of the Gospels: a number of exegetes managed to advance fresh arguments which bear enormous significance for mission and apologetics, as well as theology and biblical studies.
Keywords: Jesus, Quest for the historical Jesus, Gospels.
Luke 9:7–9 in the Context of Jewish Views on the Afterlife
Three possible identifications of Jesus (9:7b–8) come up in the pericope discussed in this paper: he is supposed to be John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the ancient prophets. These identifications deal with the prophetic element as well as with the possibility of a prophet redivivus and an otherworldly appearance. This article will argue that all these public opinions about Jesus reflect specific Jewish views on the individual’s afterlife that were widespread in the time Luke wrote his texts. This article analyzes several Jewish traditions that may form the background of the identifications mentioned and discovers possible connections with other passages from Luke’s writings which reveal Lucan own views on the afterlife.
Keywords: New Testament, Luke, Jesus, John the Baptist, Elijah, afterlife, Judaism.
Hierarchism and Eldership in the Writings of the Apostolic Fathers
The article considers the relationship between pastors and lay people in the early church based on the sources closest to the Apostolic times that became known as the “Writings of the Apostolic Fathers”. These writings reflect a shift in the minds of Christians with regard to an essential church ministry. The concepts of “hierarchism” and “eldership” are juxtaposed on the basis of their onthological (in)equality. Hierarchism is associated with cosubordination, a fundamental separation between a pastor and his congregation and with his special status in this congregation. In accordance with the principle of universal priesthood, eldership is viewed as special responsibility resting on one of God’s flock for his/her brothers and sisters, and for the life of the whole congregation of the faithful.
Keywords: hierarchism, eldership, equality, bishop, presbyter, elder.
Eschatological Life Focus of the Old Believer Communities on Vetka Island
The article offers an outline and analysis of the eschatological views held by certain Old Believer communities on Vetka Island and the resulting practices. Despite the visible explosion and establishment of a distinctive culture (Vetka icon painting, carving, decoration of hand-written books etc.), despite its susceptibility to influence of cultures distinct from it, despite the ability of the Vetka communities to self-direct and take on responsibility within the church, despite their aspiration to transform the earthly reality by lifting it up to a heavenly ideal, they still remained committed to stereotypical life models, which resulted in identifying the historical order with the mystical order of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Keywords: eschatology, Old Belief, community, schism, salvation, education, rite, Vetka Island.
Special Aspects of Deaconesses’ Ministry in the Context of Their Liturgical Ordination
The article analyses various liturgical practices for ordination of deaconesses. Analysing the content and ritual aspects of these ordination practices is aimed at identifying the ministries delivered by deaconesses who were ordained using different practices at different times across Eastern and Western Christian churches. Structural and content analysis of ordination practices along with analysis of their ritual aspects highlight several ministries varying in their specific aspects and focus from one church to another depending on the historical era.
Keywords: deaconesses, ministry, ordination, chirotesy, chirotony, catechesis, monasticism, virgins, widows.
Personal Prayer Rule in the Liturgical Practice of the Russian Orthodox Church
The subject of the article is the personal prayer rule (the ordinance of morning and evening prayers as given in prayer books) and the history of its origin. The author attempts to analyse the personal prayer rule in its structure, body, type and the content of component prayers, and to juxtapose daily personal prayer and communal worship. The research was aimed at identifying the place of the personal prayer rule in the Russian Orthodox Church’s daily practice and considering the individual (private) and the church-wide aspects of a personal prayer practice.
Keywords: personal prayer rule, daily prayer, communal and private worship.
Aspects of Meaning in Apotaxis and Syntaxis
The article examines the subject matter of apotaxis and syntaxis. The three pivotal aspects of meaning in apotaxis and syntaxis, as based on the analysis of works by ancient catechists, Teachers of the Church and XIX–XX century researchers, are: 1) confirmation of the catechumen’s repentance and life transformation, both of which are prerequisite to baptism; 2) the last exorcism, which is carried out by the catechumen; 3) taking vows of loyalty to God, the breaking of which annuls the baptism.
Keywords: apotaxis and syntaxis, catechesis, baptism, pre-baptism repentance, exorcism, baptismal vows.